BMO Debuts Digital Pre-Approved Mortgage Solution

BMO is further digitizing "advice banking" by delivering mortgage decisions to homebuyers in minutes rather than days.

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Need to Know

  • BMO’s new online tool allows those looking to purchase a home to apply for a mortgage pre-approval online and receive an instant decision.
  • When customers apply for pre-approval of a mortgage, they will instantly receive a decision, shaving the waiting period from days to minutes.
  • Customers will also receive “tailored, discounted mortgage rates” online, and that rate will be guaranteed for 130 days.
  • The process involves homebuyers answering a set of questions on BMO.com, then applying for either a single or joint mortgage.

Analysis

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect day-to-day retail and banking interactions, BMO has rolled out a new tool meant to save potential homebuyers from having to make one more trip into a physical bank branch.

BMO’s new Digital Pre-Approved Mortgage application is an online tool that allows homebuyers to apply for a mortgage pre-approval online and receive an instant decision, something the bank calls “a key differentiator.” The process has been piloted on phones as well as web-based applications and is now rolling out across Canada.

“As our customers’ appetite for digital solutions across their banking journey grows, we want to meet them on the platform of their choosing with leading solutions,” said Brett Pitts, chief digital officer at BMO. “We found a white space in the home buying process and have created a way for customers to get pre-approved for a mortgage in a fraction of the time it used to take. This is another important step, as we introduce digital solutions across the retail banking experience.”

The process begins when a customer heads to BMO.com to begin the mortgage pre-approval process. They will answer a set of predetermined questions, and depending on a number of typical factors (income, credit score, etc.), they will receive an instant decision regarding pre-approval. BMO notes that decision will come in a matter of minutes compared to the usual days.

Customers can apply as a single or joint mortgage and will also receive “tailored, discounted mortgage rates” that will lock in place for 130 days.

Apart from the quick delivery of a yes or no, this solution is valuable as it eliminates the need to visit a branch and engage in a physical meeting with an advisor or broker. These types of solutions mark the continued expansion of what many financial institutions call “advice banking”, which is any process where an advisor may sit down with a customer to discuss their potential options and how the bank can help them achieve their financial goals. AS COVID continues to linger, many banks are trying their best to further digitize advice banking.

BMO has been working to expand its digital platform and offer clients more flexibility in how they access and manage their money online. the bank recently added new features to its WealthPath platform and even partnered with Intuit to more fluidly share information between money-management solutions.

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